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Editors’ Notes

Built on a foundation of soft rock and mellow acid-jazz, Kaputt is dominated by shimmering synthesizers, treated drum beats, and languid trumpet and saxophone wrapped in reverb. This sonic landscape seems odd at first, yet soon settles in as the songs unfold. “Chinatown” has a straightforward guitar-pop structure with gauzy electronica touches; there are distant echoes of Steely Dan and Roxy Music in “Blue Eyes”; “Suicide Demo for Kara Walker” begins as meditation music and ends with a trippy disco beat; and “Song for America” is shimmering light funk. Dan Bejar even wraps up the album with an eleven-minute outpouring, “Bay of Pigs.” Bejar’s distinct vocals are drowsy and sly in this setting, and he’s supported beautifully by Sibel Thrasher on backing vocals on several tracks. Bejar’s lyrics remain allusive, mysterious, and difficult to unravel. He’s witty one line and seemingly random the next, all of which adds to the allure and enjoyment. (As he sings in “Blue Eyes:” “I write poetry for myself!”) Ambitious and intriguing, Kaputt is an impressive statement by a true musical chameleon.

Customer Reviews

Are people confused?

Are you seeing the name of the band and thinking they will be a hardcore band? Or at least a LOUD band or something? Some of these comments are pretty funny.

Destined to be the great maligned album of 2011?

Like MGMT's Congratulations last year, Kaputt seems destined to be the great maligned album of 2011 simply because it did not live up to listeners' expectations. Sure, Bejar is diving headfirst into a genre that's probably totally new to his listeners, but the incredible thing is that he did it with one of the most precarious genres--sax-heavy '80s lounge art rock, which produced some of the best music in history (Roxy Music's Avalon) as well as some of the worst (Kenny G, anyone?)--and created not only a solid album with it but also the masterpiece he has spent 15 years trying to create with Destroyer.

Stylistic misconceptions aside, Kaputt is a fantastic album, and every song is either a pop gem or an all-out epic masterpiece. Bejar is a brilliant if usually rambling and incomprehensible lyricist, and his vocals fit perfectly with those of the sublime Sibel Thrasher, a regular presence on these songs. The horns are as smooth as chocolate, and any moments of weirdness or dissonance that may seem to disrupt the mellow vibe come across more as peanuts in the rich candy bar that is this album. Forget 9/8 beats, forget dark twisted fantasies. This album is simply a remarkably well-crafted block of songs in which all the elements fit together. If there was a 4 1/2 star rating I would give it one--it's not a 5 star album, but it's better than four stars.


Dig the horns and lyrics. A perfect ear gumbo comforting yet never cheesy.


Formed: 1995 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cana

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Dan Bejar started Destroyer as a solo project in Vancouver in 1995. His first album, We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, was an electric folk record, setting the stage for the early Bowie comparisons that were certain to follow his particular vocal style. In 1998, Bejar added a rhythm section and took it into the studio for the first time. The resulting recording, City of Daughters, is a sparsely produced collection of catchy pop songs in which Bejar's increasingly obtuse lyrics really start to stand...
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